Dealing with the challenges of saturation
The Île-de-France multimodal network is recognised as one of the best in the world in terms of service density, frequency and safety. With 39 million additional journeys in 2010, traffic hit a new record of 3.052 billion journeys.
At the same time, this great success has caused problems of peak hour congestion mainly resulting from the increased number of suburbto-suburb journeys. Aware of the difficulties that passengers face, RATP has progressively raised its investment to record levels: €1.5 billion in 2011 or an increase of 50% over five years. Nearly half of these investments are allocated to internal programmes focusing on infrastructure modernisation (€418 million) or rolling stock refurbishment (€298 million).
The efforts made during 2010 with assistance from the STIF authority focused on the system’s four most congested lines.
Work preparing for the automation of this century-old line was stepped up in 2010. Night tests were conducted with the first driverless trains. By December, twenty stations were already equipped with platform edge doors. A new and ultramodern centralised control room entered service in November, notably facilitating a transition phase with automated and driver-operated trains circulating alongside one another. From May 2011, 49 new MP05 trains will progressively be rolled out on this line, the network’s busiest with 725,000 passengers daily.
The very high number of passengers using metro line 13 is the reason why RATP wants to cut peak hour train intervals. This is now possible following the installation of an automated train reversal mechanism at the Châtillon Montrouge terminus and the construction of a new centralised control room. The fact is that having shorter intervals between trains makes line management more difficult since there is almost no room for error, with any disruption (track intrusion, overcrowded platforms) causing an instant chain reaction. A programme launched in 2010 to install platform edge doors at 12 stations should help to bring about a significant reduction in the number of incidents. The rolling stock refurbishment programme will also be completed in 2011, increasing peak-time capacities in the run-up to the installation of new continuous speed
control. Lastly, metro line 14’s future extension to Mairie de Saint-Ouen should cut traffic on line 13 by 25% from 2017 onwards.
In October, maintenance teams took delivery of the first units of the 30 new generation MI09 double-decker units, which have 50% more capacity than the MI84s they replace. The Ml09s will help to improve line regularity and passenger comfort levels while reducing energy consumption thanks to their effi cient energy recovery systems.
The first renovated MI79 trains began service on this North-South line, whose central and southern sections are run by RATP. Refurbished interiors will ease passengers’ journeys on the 119 units due to be renovated by 2014, following which the trains will feature air conditioning, real-time information systems and comprehensive CCTV.
Lastly, in response to the growing success of metro line 14, another four driverless metro trains were ordered in 2010, generating a considerable rise in throughput.